The Champions League Final takes place this Saturday and features Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid in a rematch of 2014’s Final game. That game, in case you don’t know, was ridiculous. Atletico was winning 1-0 three minutes into stoppage time when Real Madrid equalized on a Sergio Ramos header. Atletico was then dismantled in extra time and ended up losing 4-1. Yeesh. It was sad times for Diego Simeone, the Atletico coach. But Simeone is not a brooder, a moper, a whiner. He’s a chef and the only dish he knows is defense with a side of REVENGE.
In case you are unaware of what the UEFA Champions League is and why it’s important, lets give you some context.
- Each year, over 50 European leagues, which include the highest quality soccer in the world from England, Germany, Spain, and the other big boys, allow their top teams at the end of the season to move on to the Champions League.
- It gets whittled down to 32 teams and they play a group stage round robin (similar to Copa and the World Cup)
- The two best teams from each group move on to the round of 16. From there it’s a 2-leg knockout until we get to the finals where one game decided it all.
It’s very very ridiculously good soccer being played on the worlds biggest stage. Guys like Messi, Ronaldo, Fatnaldo, Bigheadinio, Fupachino, and Hulk are all there. Around 320 million people watched the 2013 finals. Around 112 million watched this year’s Super Bowl. It’s large and it’s huge and it creates massive drama, especially when teams close in proximity face eachother along the road.
Well guess what, we are poised for HIGH DRAMA. After their epic collapse, Atletico has only lost 1 time in their next 10 matchups against Real, and Atletico has been a defensively dominant force in the Champions League during their road to the final. To get here they’ve beaten dutch super team PSV, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich while allowing a stunningly low 7 goals. It’s going to be a very tough game for Real Madrid to get their offense going.
Biggest Storyline other than REVENGE
Cristiano Ronaldo, the goal-obsessed lunatic soccer genius, is kind of injured. He got a banged up hammy before the semifinals and then he collided with keeper Casillas in training on Tuesday, but Zidane is saying that he’s going to play. The guy’s almost always effective no matter is going on but could be interesting to see if he’s a bit of his game. By the way, he’s had 16 goals already during this year’s Champions League. That’s ABSURD. So many goals. He also holds the CL record for all time goals.
How to Watch
Saturday, 5/28, 2:45pm EST
TV: Fox, ESPN Desportes
Stream: Watch ESPN, Fox Soccer 2 Go
Bar: Basically any bar anywhere in the world
HotFooty prediction: 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Atletico is just too good defensively, and while I don’t think they can shut out Real Madrid’s potent offense, I think the determination with which they’ve been playing is going to smother Real’s scoring talent.
“I know, I can’t believe Bale’s hair either”